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External hard drive in device manager, not in disk manager

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January 12, 2012 5:49:16 PM

I replaced my Lenovo t61 laptop HDD with an SSD so I want to use my HDD as an external drive. When I put the HDD in an enclosure it is recognized by device manager (correctly identified WDC WD, "working properly") but not by disk manager (no letter, no block representing it). The same happens on another laptop and on my desk top (all three systems are Windows XP). I tried using 2 other known good enclosures, all with the same result. Suspecting that there is a problem with the HDD I put it back into the laptop and it booted up Windows just fine. Suspecting that there is something wrong with the formatting, I left the HDD in the laptop and booted the laptop on my GParted CD. GParted of course saw the drive so I partitioned it as a non-bootable ntfs drive, all one big partition. I put the SSD back in the laptop and the HDD back in the enclosure and booted up, but still got the same result (in device mgr, not in disk mgr). I then booted GParted again, with the HDD as external, and GParted could only see the SSD.

I've also tried to "populate" the drive under device management, volumes tab, but it comes back saying status=unreadable, capacity 0 MB.

I've also tried disabling in device manager and then find new hardware but it gets found with nothing in disk manager for it.

What could be wrong here?
a b D Laptop
a c 289 G Storage
January 12, 2012 6:12:57 PM

1) Enclosure is bad. Evidence: drive works not-in enclosure, does not work in enclosure.

2) Enclosure may require either a separate power supply or more current than your laptop will give. I have had a few cases where using a powered USB hub make one of these things work.

That's all that strikes me at the moment.
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January 14, 2012 1:17:34 AM

1) Enclosure is fine. Friend's hard drive in the enclosure is given a drive letter (tried that today).

2) Enclosure cable has two usb plugs for extra power (even though one plug is enough power for 2.5" sata drives).

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a c 342 G Storage
January 14, 2012 2:20:16 AM

You say it is not in "disk manager". I presume you mean Disk Management, and I want to check WHERE. In Disk Management you must look at the LOWER RIGHT pane, which will show you all the valid hardware devices, even those Windows does not understand. I most certainly expect that an item shown in Device Manager will be in that pane. (The UPPER right pane contains ONLY the items Windows CAN work with.) Also note that the LOWER RIGHT pane SCROLLS so you can see all of its contents.

The other possibility is that the HDD unit itself has a problem in how it connects to the external enclosure. You say it works when installed internally, but not in the enclosure. And then the enclosure works OK when hosting a different HDD. Check for faulty connector?
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January 14, 2012 9:44:33 PM

Yes, Disk Management.

There are no other devices in Disk Management. Here is a picture:



>>Check for faulty connector?

On the hard drive? Then it would fail in the laptop.
On the enclosure? Then the other hard drive would not connect to it and work.

To me it seems like the hard drive has some sort of internal setting that doesn't allow it to be an external drive that other drives don't have and that doesn't apply when used internally. Is there such a thing?

Thanks for your consideration.
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a c 342 G Storage
January 15, 2012 7:14:54 PM

By "faulty connector" I meant something not very obvious, so that this HDD somehow makes an inadequate connection into the enclosure, even though it CAN connect properly in a desktop unit via cable, AND even though the enclosure can connect to a different HDD unit. I don't know just what. Maybe a springy contact is depressed a bit too much, or a pin socket's sleeve is a bit loose?

I've never heard of an HDD with a special setting to prevent it from working in an external enclosure.

Odd thought: is this HDD a SATA or IDE unit? IF it is IDE, I expect its jumper MUST be set to Master for it to work inside an external enclosure, but you should check the enclosure manual for that. IF it is SATA, forget this train of thought.
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